Estate sues Pennsylvania man going on trial next week on vehicular homicide charge
By Ed Runyan
The estate of a West Middlesex, Pa., man who died after a Feb. 24 truck crash in Brookfield Township has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the driver of a second truck, his passenger and several companies.
The suit was filed by Nancy Ayers, administrator of the estate of Wayne R. Ayers, 56, who died March 22. The crash occurred on state Route 82 near Warner Road.
The suit names as defendants Robert R. Arms, 39, of Tarentum, Pa.; James George, 41, of Brackenridge, Pa.; Ryder Truck Rental of Miami; Specialized Moving Services Inc. of Natrona Heights, Pa.; Final Touch Delivery Service of Highwood, Ill.; LA-Z-BOY Inc. of Cleveland and LA-Z-BOY Logistics of New Tazwell, Tenn., and Columbus.
The suit says Arms “recklessly, carelessly and negligently operated a LA-Z-BOY box truck,” causing serious injuries and the death of Wayne R. Ayers.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Arms failed to yield the right-of-way, which caused the accident. Arms and George were seriously injured in the crash, the highway patrol said.
Arms is charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide and minor misdemeanor failure to yield in Eastern District Court in Brookfield, and the case goes to trial Thursday.
Ayers had the right of way and was driving a tractor-trailer west on Route 82 at below the posted speed limit, the lawsuit says.
Arms was driving a 2014 Freightliner conventional truck operated by Specialized Moving Services, Ryder Truck Rental, Final Touch Deliver Service, LA-Z-BOY Inc., and LA-Z-Boy Logistics, the suit says.
None of the defendants could be reached to comment.
Arms and his passenger, George, were traveling north on Warner Road, the suit says. Arms failed to yield the right of way to Ayers, striking Ayers’ truck and forcing it into a ditch, the suit says.
George observed the Ayers’ vehicle but failed to take sufficient action to stop the crash from happening, the suit says.
George also knew that Arms was “distracted, that his driving was impaired and that ... Arms posed a threat to the motoring public,” the suit alleges.
George failed to report Arms' reckless driving before the crash or take over driving the truck or contact law enforcement, the complaint continues.
The lawsuit seeks at least $25,000 in damages and also punitive damages against each of the defendants.